U.K.—based designer W.S. Atkins plc will significantly boost its U.S. market stake with the Aug. 2 announcement of plans to acquire Tampa, Fla.-based transportation engineer and construction manager PBSJ Corp. in a $280-million cash transaction. The proposed deal also provides the U.S. firm with a needed capital infusion for growth and an ownership transition following several tough years financially and recent efforts to seek a buyer.
The deal would link Atkins, the industry’s 11th largest global design firm with $2.2 billion in 2009 revenue, with an employee-owned engineer that ranks 28th on ENR’s list of the Top 500 Design Firms, reporting $513.9 million in design revenue last year. PBSJ ranks as the industry’s 17th largest construction management-for-fee firm and is 23rd on the list of the Top 50 program managers.
Atkins says PBSJ’s total revenue in 2009 was $799 million. About 80% of its work is in the public sector. PBSJ has about 3,000 employees.
The transaction, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, is set to close in early fall, says Atkins. PBSJ would become a wholly-owned subsidiary, but will take on the Atkins brand beginning next April. But its construction arm, Peter R. Brown Construction, will maintain its name.
PBSJ “meets every single one of our criteria,” says Keith Clarke, CEO of Atkins. “This provides us with the opportunity to grow in America, the biggest infrastructure market in the world.” An extended version of this story originally appeared on ENR.com.